Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

From Dweeb To Top Of His Game

15 January 2015 | 11:34 am | Simone Ubaldi

"I guess I’ve been really lucky."

More Caribou More Caribou

Caribou’s blissful house-swamped electro album, Our Love, featured high in the Best of 2014 lists, fuelled by the success of lead single, Can’t Do Without You. Snaith’s DJ chops were honoured by Mixmag, which dubbed his 2014 Essential Mix their Mix of the Year. At 36, roughly 15 years into his musical career, Dan Snaith aka Caribou, is at the top of his game.

Canadian-born and London-based, Snaith has built a loyal following over the years, but his career took a leap forward with the release of 2010 album, Swim.

“Nobody was really waiting for Swim,” Snaith suggests. “There were fans who had been with me for a long time, but with this record there was a sense that a lot of people were really waiting for it. For me, it worked really well; it was really exciting to make it, knowing that there were a lot of people excited to hear what I was doing. At the same time, that could have gone either way. It could have fallen flat on its face under the pressure to make an album that people really liked. I guess I’ve been really lucky.”

“Kieren and I are both crazed music fanatics at the root level; we’re always checking out what’s happening and the music that we make is definitely not happening in a vacuum"

Like his close friend Kieren Hebden (aka Four Tet), Snaith has benefitted from this decade’s global swing away from rock, which coincided with his own growing passion for house, dubstep and the UK club scene. Once an indie electro artist with a psychedelic bent, Snaith now slings progressive house, both as Caribou and while DJing under his other moniker, Daphni.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“Kieren and I are both crazed music fanatics at the root level; we’re always checking out what’s happening and the music that we make is definitely not happening in a vacuum. For me, Swim was very much a reaction to what was going on in dance music or club music in London at the time, whether it was young bass music producers like Joy Orbison and Floating Points, these kind of guys, or going out to see the really vibrant dance music culture that was starting again around 2009.” Snaith is quick to distance himself from the dominant, US-led EDM culture, but he admits it’s all connected. If Caribou is on the dance spectrum, it’s the more discerning end.

Still, being on-trend has its benefits. “Kieren and I have done back-to-back DJ sets since 2001 or 2002 and there was a while when nobody was really interested in us. This year, for the second year running, we curated this event in Manchester called the Warehouse Project where the two of us were DJing back-to-back as the headline act at this 6,000 capacity venue, and Thom Yorke and Madlib were on the bill, these total heroes of ours, and we were just looking at each other thinking, ‘What on earth is going on here?’” Snaith laughs. “I really, really love the unlikeliness of it. We’re just a pair of dweebs up there, DJing for loads of people, much older than most of the people in the audience. But that’s wonderful, isn’t it? I mean it’s nuts, but it’s great.”